59 MDW on ‘ALRT’: Medics sustain patient in the air

2nd Lt. Andrea Perez, member of the 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team, monitor a patient onboard a C-130J Super Hercules, Dec. 12, 2016. The 59th Medical Wing’s Acute Lung Rescue Team provided medical care for a military dependent, during the four-hour flight.. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

2nd Lt. Andrea Perez, member of the 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team, monitor a patient onboard a C-130J Super Hercules, Dec. 12, 2016. The 59th Medical Wing’s Acute Lung Rescue Team provided medical care for a military dependent, during the four-hour flight.. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

The 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team prepares to transport a patient to the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center at the San Antonio Military Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Dec. 12, 2016. The 59th Medical Wing’s Acute Lung Rescue Team provided medical care for a military dependent, during the four-hour flight.. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

The 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team prepares to transport a patient to the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center at the San Antonio Military Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Dec. 12, 2016. The 59th Medical Wing’s Acute Lung Rescue Team provided medical care for a military dependent, during the four-hour flight.. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

2nd Lt. Andrea Perez, member of the 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team, tends to a patient while onboard an ambulance on Kelly Field Annex, San Antonio, Dec. 12, 2016. A unique 59th Medical Wing capability, the ECMO transport program began at Wilford Hall Medical Center in the 1990s. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

2nd Lt. Andrea Perez, member of the 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team, tends to a patient while onboard an ambulance on Kelly Field Annex, San Antonio, Dec. 12, 2016. A unique 59th Medical Wing capability, the ECMO transport program began at Wilford Hall Medical Center in the 1990s. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jerilyn Quintanilla)

2nd Lt. Andrea Perez, Maj. Jeffrey DellaVolpe, and Staff Sgt. Cynthia Thurman, members of the 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team, tends to a patient while onboard an ambulance on Kelly Field Annex, San Antonio, Dec. 12, 2016. A unique 59th Medical Wing capability, the ECMO transport program began at Wilford Hall Medical Center in the 1990s. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

2nd Lt. Andrea Perez, Maj. Jeffrey DellaVolpe, and Staff Sgt. Cynthia Thurman, members of the 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team, tends to a patient while onboard an ambulance on Kelly Field Annex, San Antonio, Dec. 12, 2016. A unique 59th Medical Wing capability, the ECMO transport program began at Wilford Hall Medical Center in the 1990s. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

Members of the 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team monitor a patient onboard a C-130J Super Hercules, Dec. 12, 2016. A unique 59th Medical Wing capability, the ECMO transport program began at Wilford Hall Medical Center in the 1990s. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

Members of the 59th Medical Wing Acute Lung Rescue Transport team monitor a patient onboard a C-130J Super Hercules, Dec. 12, 2016. A unique 59th Medical Wing capability, the ECMO transport program began at Wilford Hall Medical Center in the 1990s. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jason Huddleston)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- The Air Force’s 59th Medical Wing sprang into action Dec. 12 when military medics transported a patient with cystic fibrosis from San Antonio to California.

The 59th Medical Wing’s Acute Lung Rescue Transport team provided medical care for a military dependent, during the four-hour flight.

Because of the patient’s condition, the team used extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, capabilities to sustain her for the duration of the move from the San Antonio Military Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, on a C-130J Super Hercules transport aircraft.

The team transferred the patient to the Ronald Reagan University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center for a lung transplant evaluation.

The medical team, including her primary physician and 59th Medical Wing ECMO physician, Air Force Maj. Jeffrey Dellavolpe, remained by her side throughout the journey. Other team members include Air Force Majs. Valerie Sams and JK House, Army Capt. Trey Baker, Air Force 2nd Lt. Andrea Perez, Air Force 1st Lt. Joseph Acquafredda, Air Force Staff Sgt. Cynthia Thurman, and Bernadette Elliott.

A unique 59th Medical Wing capability, the ECMO transport program began at Wilford Hall Medical Center in the 1990s. At the time, ECMO capabilities were only used for neonatal care. In 2011, the program expanded to include adult patients. The 59th MDW remains the Defense Department’s hub for Acute Lung Rescue Transport.

 
 
  
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